Please Stop It
This ran on Facebook on June 14, 2017.
The attack at the baseball field today brings home some really serious points that I hope my friends will consider. Regardless of party, the tone of the social media accounts of the shooter (whom I won’t name) actually resembles that of some of the timelines of people I call friends, and that’s not OK with me.
They are Democrats and Republicans. Men and women. The politics in the global community and especially in the US have become so poisonously partisan, and resort to such brinksmanship, so quickly, that I feel I simply must point this out.
I am asking you, my friends, to please consider your rhetoric. Please consider your brinksmanship. Please consider how we discuss politics.
We have serious problems, and we have seriously divergent approaches between Republicans and Democrats, but I reckon that resorting to nuclear option after nuclear option is getting less done than at any time in my lifetime and actually endangering lives, and neither party is solely responsible for this: we got here together.
For every nutjob Bernie supporter advocating violent resistance, there is a nutjob Alt-Right supporter advocating violent resistance. For every Anti-Fa idiot, there is a Milo-mindbended idiot. When Sting’s lyrics seem poignant and meaningful, we know we have all gone too far*.
So I am asking you now to look at your timeline. If your points are devastatingly made criticism of the approach or policies of the other side, good on ya. But if you’re talking about violence, or using war phrases, please consider toning it down. Please stop mocking children and family of politicians. This leads to a devaluation of the humanity of those with whom we disagree. I am not saying to agree. I am not saying to capitulate, or accept things that make your blood boil - my gay, lesbian, trans-gender, dope-smoking, black, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Republican, Democrat, Socialist, Libertarian, and all other kinds of friends are truly people I love, and hearing them called horrible names, and seeing policies made solely to discredit people sickens me. But please understand BOTH SIDES ARE EQUALLY GUILTY.
Please stop it.
One more thing: Placing memes on your Facebook timeline doesn’t affect or effect change. Becoming truly involved in public service does. You’re not a warrior for justice because you call a politician a mean name or make fun of her appearance, or their children. Stand for office. Volunteer. Use your expertise to discuss on radio, television, or in the news media your ideas for change. Saying Trump is a fascist who must die isn’t clever, and it won’t change his agenda.
Saying Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders are communists who must die isn’t clever, and won’t change their agenda.
Please, let’s use our grown-up words, and try to make things better, not just louder. People are dying needlessly.
*The dreary, repetitive, redundant, monotonous song “Russians” (The Dream of the Blue Turtles, 1985) featured the ponderous line, “There is no monopoly in common sense/On either side of the political fence.” How dare y’all have made Sting right?